It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Multi-nationals have tighter and more unopposable control than feudal lords or aristocracy ever had

page: 1

log in


posted on Aug, 11 2013 @ 04:31 PM
This is just a thought I had, when I was thinking about the Russian revolution. Populism is on the rise, so that seemed like an appropriate time to consider, because I think even if history doesn't repeat itself exactly, it sure rhymes. People who feel they have been pressed to their ends (read: people who can't afford to eat- this is well documented) tend to lash out at whomever their perceived oppressors are. For Russian peasants being egged on by a provocateur class of intellectuals, it was obvsiously their landed lords. With the Aristocracy, you know where you stood. Their lands were plain to see to anyone who looked, and you knew exactly how far their influence extended, and where it ended (usually where the next guy's land started). You knew who they were, what they looked like, where they lived, and more or less what they were capable of. You don't like the order of things? Get enough pitchforks in the air and try your luck. They had power, but it wasn't absolute, and depended heavily on people putting up with the state of things. That is why we have concepts like the divinie right of kings, and "nobility"- we need explanations for why these people are of better material to rule us when we could choose otherwise if it came to that.

Do the same checks apply to multi-nationals? If you wanted, could you storm Nestle or Monsanto with your pitchforks? Where would you go, their factories? What about the ones in India and China, are you going to get those too? Are you going to get your government to freeze their assets? What about their Swiss and Cayman Island bank coffers? Their money is in 300 different institutions, and if you won't take it, someone else will. Are you going to boycott them then? What about the 50-100 other company's they actually own and operate, are you going to figure out exactly what things they make and own, and systematically avoid them all? After you are done with that, are you going to spend thirty minutes a day investigating what other companies they acquire or create to hide their influence through branding? Are you going to get your government to tell them to shape up and suffer regulation? You are aware who paid for your politicians campaign funds, right? You are aware where the kickbacks are coming from too? Do you even know the face of the people who are dominating your life with the products you are forced to buy, the common resources they find any opportunity to monetize, and the political men they put into office to disenfranchise you of the fruits of your labors to aggrandize their profit margins? Where do they live? What country even?

And if you manage all of this, and resist their influence in every form it takes, what are you going to do when 3/4 of the rest of the world goes along with business as usual, and these multinationals become even bigger, and so ubiquitous you can't live your life but by their allowance? They know no country, they have no bounds, and they fall under no jurisdiction. They are held to the laws of the places they operate in (or such we are told), but they play by a different rulebook because they can always do the tasks they want in the places most unregulated against them.

So I guess what I am saying in fewer words, is that if we wanted to do something about these guys who have so much power over our lives, do we even have options?

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 04:24 AM
You know we don't.

Avoiding it is an option, but most are too spoiled and dependent to go live on a farm or join a primitive tribe.

I think we should be focusing on getting some laws passed that prevent them from growing any bigger, but that's not gonna happen.

It's been out of control for quite some time, and they're in over their heads, which is either a good or a bad thing.

Time shall tell.

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 02:08 PM
Well said, but I am going to go out on a limb by stating my belief that this may be beneficial for the world. Aside from the severe environmental damage, I think the current model helps sort of disperse a mini industrial age in foreign communities. Although this may not be good for the U.S., it is definitely a catalyst for education, financial growth, and provides opportunities to people who normally wouldn't have had any opportunity what so ever. I am quite concerned for the environment due to loose laws, but overall as a humanist I'll give it the benefit of the doubt for now. SF smooth writing though!

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 05:56 PM
reply to post by Skaffa

Yes, in theory with enough of the population demanding it, we could maybe get the politicians to feel pressured enough to give us some minor token regulation; you and I both know though that they will take their manufacturing to some place where the laws permit them to violate people's rights and health to the fullest extent possible, and put their products in a pretty enough package to pass our inspections. We will have prevented them from violating our own people as they violate the people on the manufacturing side, but we will still have the problem of their cheaply-produced goods crowding out our domestic producers, which still gives them a commercial monopoly at the distribution and market-share ends, and the monetary clout that comes with that.

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 06:33 PM
reply to post by cbaskins

I do have to admit there is merit to your idea about industrial dispersal; In England and the US, the industrial revolutions we experienced there were probably among the darkest times ever for the populace, more so even than the middle ages of Europe in general. The poor conditions came from the concentration of contaminants and the exploitive and unsanitary working conditions. Your argument partially solves the first, but it may be multiplying the latter. These companies are looking for the least hostile environment in which they can extract the greatest amount of labor for the least cost; surely they will find those places where they can push the people to the furthest they are allowed. You can make the argument that these opportunities are still better than being a tenant farmer, but I would say that forcing whole villages and cities to shift from one sort of heavy labor to another without any choice in the matter is still not the best service to them.

Aside from worker's rights aspect I am also quite concerned about the quality of the goods themselves, and especially the food. Companies which stand high above their competitors generally do so because they are operating much more cheaply at some point in their processes. We have already addressed the labor question, which is a huge part of their equation, but especially with food companies due diligence over what substances and practices are allowed in production is bypassed by any route allowable. I have to admit I am terribly uncomfortable that 90% or more of my food supply is provided from sources where profit motive trumps all other concerns, and who will happily poison me if it saves labor or resources, until someone can conclusively prove they are doing so and force them to stop.

Normal human decency is that if "A" may possibly cause great harm, don't do "A" unless forced to by greater necessities. The logic these companies operate under is that if "A" may possibly cause great harm, but is much cheaper than "B" which is known to be safe, do "A" until someone proves "A" causes harm with certainty, and catches me doing "A".

If there were only a way to prevent companies from using that thought process, and profiting so much from it that they become almost a branch of the government themselves and become the ones that write the very regulations that are meant to keep them in check...

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 09:48 PM
reply to post by joeraynor

Great points.

One thing I did not see (could have missed it) is what do we replace the status quo with? What would it look like? What do you convince the masses to replace their current bowl of swill with?

Don't get me wrong, I agree with much of what you say. Blaming people for not doing anything but not offering a valid solution comes off as ranty versus educational. I am as guilty as the next of doing this but I do accept it as a non-starter.

Granted the problems are deep and complex. There is no pause button in life to get things squared away. Everyone would have to pay the piper on the fly as we repair. Most simply cannot manage that and many more won't. Those raping the situation understand that. It's a green light.

Perhaps a good first step before even fixing anything is simply let the rapists know it's a red light. Trusting governments to do this is a bust. They won't. Heck, they make it illegal to switch the light. So who do you turn to for assistance?

History is rife with examples of agents. Rarely is it smooth. It does seem to be how humans work though.

posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 10:57 PM
reply to post by ABNARTY

That is really the main part of the thesis- that what we can do about them really stops at the national level; by being multi-national, they evade the majority of regulation any government could place on them.

I have potential half-solutions on the national level, that I think are viable, but the world level is much more challenging.

First we need to address the issue of politics through cash flow, because that is where most of their power comes from. To do this, I think we would have to make campaign funding illegal; all major candidates who make it to the last level of nomination in an election would be given time in a public forum, such as televised debates (that would have to be quite lengthy- think 4 hours long or more). Their ideas and plans would be published in a periodical that was freely distributed prior to the elections. Some would argue that campaign funding is protected under the first ammendment, but I would counter that by saying that if the voices of some are silenced because they lack the money to make their case, then far more people have lost the right to free speech.

Lobbying would have to be all but eliminated. In its place would go lengthy congressional hearings at state and federal levels. In my opinion, the size of our government is inadequate to address all of the decisions it is asked to make, and the number of representatives would have to be increased potentially 4 times or so, but compartmentalized so that they focus on specific tasks. For instance, a congress of military and strategic matters, a congress of energy and commercial concerns, etc. Our current representatives are not specialized or informed enough to make adult decisions about very much. The best they do is rail-road 1200-page bills through the process by voting on party lines and emotion, and by their wallets.

The personal finances of politicians would be subject to very severe investigatory scrutiny to eliminate the influences of bribery and kickbacks. If the NSA can afford to spy on every American's internet habits, the doings of a few tens of thousands of politicians should be child's play. Turn that aparatus where it would be most useful.

Make the presidential term 6 years, but one term limit. We don't need our president campaigning for their next term while they should be focused on more important things. Make impeachment real again. Italy can toss its crooks, why can't we?

We also need to dismantle the false dichotomy of a 2-party system which allows power to concentrate in the same hands and lines, and makes power too easy to buy, but I believe the previous measures would contribute very quickly to expanding the number of viable parties.

Re-organize the tax system. Corporatations are "people" with the same priveliges? Time they had the same checks too then. Individual tax rate is capped at 25%; small business tax rate capped at 30%, domestic corporate companies can see 40% rates, and Multi-nationals may face up to 60%. Capital makes capital. The more you have, the easier it is to get more. The more places you are entrenched, the easier it is to multiply your capital. This would favor domestic companies heavily over foreign or multinationals, which would help our trade deficit and would enable us to regulate most of the companies that are doing business with us, because they would be contained to our shores and jurisdictions. People often make the claim that free market capitalism in the vein of Adam Smith is what we need today, but I would point out that those saying that rarely have read more than a sentence of Smith, and if they had, would understand he felt that the domination of the market by a group that spends all other competitors out of the market has actually eliminated the free market.

And last, but also first, regulate the damn banks. Impossible today, but if some or all of the above were in place, that would become easier.

It is not a full solution by any means, but I think it is a major step in the right direction.

posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 06:35 PM
On ATS many complain about a new world order. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Gloabalization is the reality of managing tax avoidance and regulations that would normally prevent you from maximising profits in your own country. No single government or international body is effectively regulating globalized business interests.

Would a single global currency diminish the justification to go offshore, of course it would. Would a global regulation system protect the global environment, of course it would.

Are people fearful of giving up their right of sovereignty, of course you are.

We as humans are conflicted between our wants and our needs, individually and collectively. Will it take a dictator or a global catastrophe for change to occur, it has in the past.

2013 is an interesting number in relation to those that see meaning in numerology, what will come our way by the end of the year? A plague, Middle East nuclear exchange, mmmmmm I wonder...........

posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 07:41 PM
reply to post by subtopia

I feel that we don't need to blot global business entities out of existence- they have a place. We need to put checks and balances in place that allow such entities to do our political process violence, and to thus de-regulate themselves to the point where they can sell us poison or hold us to usury contracts which they are allowed to change at any time to the detriment of the customers with very little notice.

I am a big believer in the "follow the money" principle. I think that if you can get their money out of our politics, most of the other issues can be resolved much more easily. That is what my fear is though. I am afraid we are letting them get so entrenched in our governance that we are losing options for expelling them, hence the title thesis.

posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 08:16 PM
reply to post by joeraynor

Sorry for the delay but thanks for the reply. I take away that money (purchasing legislation and whatnot) needs to go. I agreed whole heartedly.

I do not see it happening any time soon though. The entire governing mechanism is built around it. There is currently no other way-ahead in place. I would love to see one though.

This is not new to the US in 2013. Plenty of historical analogs available for comparison. Unfortunately, the vast majority end painfully. If we burn down the ship, the rats who made this mess just find another but we then need to build another boat. Sad part is our boat is pretty good. I do not want to burn it down, just eliminate the rats.

new topics

top topics


log in